The Election Commission has ordered a ban on the screening of biopic on our current Prime Minister Narendra Modi ahead of Lok Sabha Elections. In a communication to the three producers of the film, the Chief Election Officer, Maharashtra, said, “That any biopic material in the nature of biography/hagiography sub-serving the purposes of any political entity or any individual entity connected to it, which is intended to, or which has the potential to disturb the level playing field during the elections, should not be displayed in electronic media, including cinematography, during the operation of the Model Code of Conduct (MCC).”
The communication further said, “In view of the admitted facts and material available on record, this film — being a biopic on Narendra Modi, Prime Minister and a prospective candidate in the current general elections to the Lok Sabha — cannot be exhibited in view of the Commission’s order.”
“You are directed not to exhibit the film titled ‘PM Narendra Modi till further orders,” it added.
The upcoming film was initially scheduled to release on April 5. It is directed by Omung Kumar and produced by Suresh Oberoi, Sandip Ssingh, and Anand Pandit. Vivek Oberoi plays the character of PM Modi and the film was to be released in 23 languages.
Earlier, a petition filed by a Congress activist seeking the stay on the release of the film was dismissed by the Supreme Court on grounds that the Election Commission would be an “appropriate” place to seek the redressal. It further said that the petition for the stay was ‘premature’ since the movie is yet to be certified by the Censor Board.
Congress had alleged that the film was made with the agenda to “manipulate, influence and impress viewers and voters”. Not only the film, but the Election Commission restraining orders also applies to NaMo TV as well. A few days ago, the Bhartiya Janta Party launched a TV Channel called NaMo TV with the aim to provide real-time coverage for PM Modi’s campaigns for the General Elections 2019. The channel is hosted by all DTH platforms.
On its launch, Congress and Aam Aadmi Party filed a complaint with the Election Commission alleging that the channel has been launched to push the BJP Election Campaigns. On this, BJP’s Tom Vadakkan said, “I don’t know the funding methodology but I have been speaking to people in the party who handle these matters and let me assure you that all payments are by cheque and everything is audited. It is all transparent.”
The General Elections will take place in Seven Phases from April 11 to May 19. The counting of votes will take place on May 23.